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Clinical lab diagnostics jobs go begging: $60,000

Clinical lab diagnostics jobs go begging: $60,000

Even as cash-conscious drug developers carefully hire, there’s an employment bright spot in the larger life sciences industry: diagnostic test developers.

Advances in the understanding of how genes interact and show the course of a disease or predict the recurrence of cancer have led to a boom in personalized medicine. Hundreds of jobs have been created in the Bay Area over the past five years. Someone needs to run molecular diagnostic tests through complex equipment and get results back to doctors and patients in days. The readouts help doctors shape treatment plans or make life-saving decisions on invasive surgeries.

Molecular diagnostic test developers can’t find the right people to fill the jobs, which pay $60,000 to $75,000 a year. To hire clinical laboratory scientists, they must pit their startup cultures against that of hospitals, which can offer stronger benefits packages and job security.

A collaboration of private employers and academia, backed by a federal Labor Department grant, may deepen that shallow pool of potential employees. The grant, $5 million total, funded training programs for clinical laboratory scientists and medical laboratory technicians as well as a new certification category called clinical genetic molecular biologist scientist.

The program is what test developers have wanted, a specialization within the clinical laboratory scientist designation that focuses on skills needed to process personalized molecular diagnostic tests.

The first cohort of six students at San Jose State University and two students at California State University, Los Angeles, graduated this month from the 52-week program. They spent 32 hours a week on the job in the labs of Veracyte Inc. of South San Francisco, XDx Inc. of Brisbane, Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics in Berkeley, Hunter Laboratories of Campbell and San Mateo County Public Health, and eight hours in the classroom.

The door is open. That high paying job that you have work hard for is here. Contact us today! (866) 346-8522

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